Why Does Instagram Block Me From Following More People?

on May 05, 2018 with 57 comments
Instagram Follow Blocked

You’re probably here wondering, “why does Instagram block me from following more people?” You press the “Follow” button and nothing happens. It stays as-is and still says “Follow“. This means you’ve been temporarily blocked from following additional accounts by Instagram. RELAX!!! It’s quite common, happens to the best of us including many social media managers, and is only temporary. In some cases, Instagram will tell you exactly what you did wrong as shown in the screenshot below.

Instagram Temporary Block

So let’s evaluate what’s happening here…

Why does Instagram block me from following?

There are likely one of four reasons why Instagram has blocked your ability to follow more accounts.

Reason 1: Following Accounts Too Fast

Basically, you performed the follow action too fast. Instagram requires you to wait a certain period of time before you can follow the next account in an effort to prevent spammers and bots from becoming too pervasive on their platform. Sometimes users get into an aggressive mode and quickly follow dozens of accounts, like when opening a new account. In such cases, users may not realize that Instagram is watching (or rather counting) carefully. So while Instagram does want you to engage on their platform, they don’t want you to dominate it with specific actions. Simply slow down the pace at which you follow people.

Reason 2: Too Many / Exceeded Follow Limit Per Hour

You likely followed too many people and exceeded the limit. Now, you’ll need to wait for an undefined period of time until Instagram will let you follow more accounts. Similar to the following accounts too fast, Instagram perceives following too many accounts in a short period of time as potentially bot-like behavior. Instead go read a book, and come back to Instagram in a few hours. Things will be just fine.

See: Instagram Limits

Reason 3: You’ve Reached the Limit for Maximum Following Count

Instagram only allows you to follow 7,500 accounts. Go to this link for a detailed explanation about following more than 7,500 users on Instagram.

Reason 4: You’re Using an App, Bot, or Shady Service

If you’re running bots or any automation, Instagram is likely to put your account into a penalty box. To prevent this, never ever use bots or automation software. This will be the death of your account, and that’s why an authentic Instagram Growth Service like Ampfluence exists.

In a few cases, certain well-known services claiming to provide an authentic service were actually using bots. After the user left the service, the provider had not removed their account from their bot-like software resulting in unexpected following and likes.

We’ve also seen a few instances where a user didn’t realize they had authorized an app to follow accounts. To check what apps could potentially be performing automating actions resulting in the temporary block, do the following:

  1. Navigate to your Settings by clicking the gear icon
  2. Click on Authorized Apps
  3. Click the Revoke Access button for any app that you no longer use, or is likely automating actions. Then wait, and once your account is restored to normal, be mindful of whether it happens again.

Instagram Authorized App Revoke Access

Reason 5: More Than One Person Logged In to the Account

We have also seen cases of Instagram preventing certain actions (follow / like) when it detects multiple users logged into the same account. At that point, their security flags go off and the account is subject to much stricter scrutiny. This is especially true on newer accounts. In such instances, try to coordinate with your fellow user on who should be logged in and when. Though it’s completely normal for 2 users to be logged in from different locations, it’s not normal for both those users to be performing actions at the same time.

Reason 6: Instagram is being sensitive

At various times, Instagram releases new features or back-end updates to prevent spammers and automation on the platform. In such cases, it impacts lots of other accounts regardless of whether or not they’ve done anything wrong. For example, sometimes Instagram is ultra-sensitive if you follow a dozen folks resulting in a temporary block. In such a case, even though you have not exceeded any limit, an account may get temporarily blocked. Just stop using Instagram for a few hours, and return later and continue.

How long does Instagram block you from following people?

There’s no definitive answer to this and Instagram does not reveal much about it. However, we have seen the temporary block last as short as 20 minutes to as long as several days for some accounts. However, the best thing you can do is not reset the temporary block time-clock by continuing to attempt the follow action every other minute. Instead, let the temporary block expire without interruption which will expedite your ability to get the account back to normal.

Worth noting is that the temporary block seems to be shorter for trusted accounts that are aged. These are accounts that have a long history on Instagram and therefore may not be as aggressively blocked compared to new accounts. If you have a fairly new account, this block will take longer.

PRO TIP: If you are trying to follow a lot of people, do it from the Instagram app on your mobile device, not a PC. We’ve observed that following accounts too fast on the web version of Instagram typically blocks you at 20 – 35 accounts whereas the mobile app seems to adhere to the Instagram limit of following 160 per hour.

How to fix being blocked from following people on Instagram?

If you are temporarily blocked, don’t freak out. It happens more often than one would think, and even to genuine individuals. Since only Instagram knows the finer details of what triggers the temporary block, there’s not much definitive information on the web on how to fix the issue other than to wait. If you absolutely cannot wait, here are a few workarounds that may work, but are not guaranteed:

METHOD 1: Web Browser vs. Device

  1. If you’re using a mobile app, then login via a web browser and attempt to follow someone. If you’re using a web browser, then simply log in via your mobile phone and attempt to follow someone. If it works, great. If not, wait.

METHOD 2: Log out and Log In

  1. Navigate to your Settings
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of all Settings and find the “Log Out” button
  3. Log back into your account and try following a random profile. If it works, great. If not, wait.

METHOD 3: Delete the App and Re-Install

  1. Navigate to your Settings
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of all Settings and find the “Log Out” button
  3. Delete the Instagram app completely. Re-install it from the app store (or Google Play).
  4. Log back into your account and try following a random profile. If it works, great. If not, wait.

METHOD 4: Follow People via Facebook

  1. From your profile, click on the gear icon to navigate to your Settings
  2. Under the Follow People heading, click on Facebook Friends (screenshot below)
  3. Log into Facebook as instructed
  4. Then, try to follow an account. If it works, great. If not, wait.

That’s it. Hopefully, this post has helped you understand why Instagram blocks you from following people, and what you can do about it. It’s worth repeating that you should never use bots or automation software, and always stay within Instagram’s limits. If trying to grow your account sounds like it takes too much time and effort, it absolutely does. Look no further than the best Instagram growth service on the web – Ampfluence!

Let us know if any of the methods above worked for you or not in the comments below.

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57 thoughts on “Why Does Instagram Block Me From Following More People?
  • Hi, I am experimented a temporary block on following. It lasts from almost 7 days!
    Honestly, I did not reach the limit of 7.500 people that one may follow. I only ignored the new hourly limits , during a week end in which the account was getting more follower than usual.
    It is not a news account – opend in February. I don’ t use spamming. No I’m losing hundred of followers without a moivation.
    I tried to report the proble to IGMore times and in different ways. No answer.
    I tried all the methods you have included in this post.
    Just one, the last, seems to work a little. I can follow people through the option ‘Facebook friends’,, but no more than 10 each time. And each time I reconnect with my account, I find that the flag of ‘following’ is LOST.
    It is really frustrating. I use Instagram for job. If the situation will go on for weeks or months, I think i will take the decision to get rid of the account and disconnet from all the social – at least Instagram & Facebook.
    What else can I do ? May you help me?
    Thank you very much, best regards

    1. Hi Caterina – I’ll try to touch on each point and maybe it’ll help. Though, if you’ve tried the above, then it’ll just be that you need to wait longer for the block to be removed. The more you keep taking actions, the more likely the timeclock is being reset.

      “No I’m losing hundred of followers without a moivation.”

      This has been happening to many users recently and may be due to the
      Alternatively, it’s likely due to any en masse purchased followers/likes you may have done, and if not that, then any promotions you may have done. These could include contests, give-aways, promotions, etc. We have seen that every promotion usually results in XX% of folks unfollowing the account after-the-promotion. This is expected behavior.

      “Just one, the last, seems to work a little. I can follow people through the option ‘Facebook friends’,, but no more than 10 each time. And each time I reconnect with my account, I find that the flag of ‘following’ is LOST.”

      I’m glad to hear that is working for you, but only for a short time. Therefore, I would give this account more time. Keep posting to the account, but do not perform any actions (follow, unfollow, like, comment) for at least 2 weeks. Then try again. It may just need more time for the block to be removed.

      Hope that helps.

      1. Grazie! Thank you. I try to follow your kind suggestion. Just a precisation: I have a business account only from few days, and just to link a temporay Fb account – to try to follow someone. I made no promotions or contests.
        So really I can’t understand why the ‘temporary’ block is so long…

  • Thanks for the info! We are starting a service in Birmingham, AL. I obviously overloaded the follow people deal and now I know why. Would love some more details of your services to grow our Instagram as well as product! Let me know what you folks offer.

    Handle is @flyby_kevin, check it out!

    1. If you haven’t submitted an inquiry via our contact form, please do. Our team is fielding questions from many potential clients on a daily basis. So give them a shout, introduce yourself and your goals, and let’s see how we can help you.

  • I had downloaded mass unfollow to clean up my Instagram account. I was clearly ignorant and now I’ve been blocked. The weird part is my account is following people and I’m not even doing it. I’ve never signed up to bot services or bought followers. I went to my permissions and third party apps and deleted everything including linktree and stuff on my blog and it keeps happening. I changed my password, email and did two factor authentication and my account is following people still. I’ve been blocked all weekend and I don’t know what to do or how to get in touch with Instagram.

    1. Avoid all APPS that are not approved by Instagram. Almost all those apps require you to provide your username and password which they use to tap into Instagram’s API (unauthorized access btw) to perform actions. Given 99% of these apps do not have the appropriate permissions that adhere to Instagram’s terms of service, they’re RISKY! And here at Ampfluence, we never risk an account. It’s not worth it. Better to play this social game genuinely.

      Now, I can guarantee you that you have a third party app, service, or desktop app that you setup and have given the user/pw which is the cause of the automatic following happening on your account. Until you identify that app, it may still happen as some apps use “tokens” in lieu of just the user/pw authentication to constantly stay logged in to perform actions. This is exactly why we recommend staying far far far away from the bots and automation services. If it sounds too good to be true, then it’s a bot!

      Hope you resolve it. Let us know what happens.

  • I have been using instagram for about 4 years and over that time managed to follow less than 350 people, I have many friends (from years spent working in other countries) and close family living overseas, so instagram was an avenue of communication with them. I have also followed a few people from the occasional giveaway.

    Never had any problems, then one day it suddenly changed, the odd thing was I tried to follow someone the day after my birthday, and it would not work and has not worked ever since. As far as I am aware, being blocked has nothing to do with your birthday, so I can only presume that it was just a bad coincidence.
    No explanation for it (you showed a notification about being blocked – I never got one), they just blocked me – I hadn’t even used it for about 2 weeks prior (went camping in the bush out of cell tower range) and it was blocked when I opened it. – Aggghhhhhh!!
    So I tried the PC browser version, no good. Then I tried the Windows app and that too was no good.
    I have never used any bots, et cetera.
    And thanks for going to the effort of writing out the tips above, but unfortunately none of them has worked.

    Over 6 months straight now I have been blocked from following anyone on instagram.

    I have reported it countless times and sent off heaps of emails, but not one response from them.
    Never been blocked by any other social media and I am careful not to break the rules.
    It wouldn’t be that bad if I knew what was going on, but their deafening silence is infuriating and beyond frustrating.
    I have even spent over 4 weeks in hospital without touching instagram and I am still blocked.

    The purpose of social media to make communication easier, maybe this is something the people at instagram support should abide by – you know that saying – “practice what you preach”.

    I’ve just about given up with this absolutely moronic social media because it is totally useless!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Any ideas? 🙂

  • Long story short I’ve been blocked from following and it’s been going on 48 hours and I’m getting pissed off, because this was a HUGE MISTAKE! I’ve reported and reported and tried all types of methods but nothing works . The only way o can follow ppl is if i unfollow who’s not following me back n then go bck on the app and it only lets me follow 10-20 ppl. Today it was only up to 10! This is ridiculous! I’m not a spam acct or anything like that ! Can someone please help me

  • Long story short I’ve been blocked from following and it’s been going on 48 hours and I’m getting pissed off, because this was a HUGE MISTAKE! I’ve reported and reported and tried all types of methods but nothing works . The only way o can follow ppl is if i unfollow who’s not following me back n then go bck on the app and it only lets me follow 10-20 ppl. Today it was only up to 10! This is ridiculous! I’m not a spam acct or anything like that ! I’m not gonna lie I’ve been waiting hours and hours I’ve been testing and testing it to see if my acct went bck to normal but I’m still losing my patience bc how can i be blocked this long bro!!! Can someone please help me

  • Hey there. This is a very helpful article. The most helpful I’ve found so far. I am also getting blocked from following. I don’t think I have ever followed more than 100 in an hour. I find it most frustrating because I’ll come across an account I find interesting and I’ll try to follow it, then I get blocked and go about my business and forget what the heck I wanted to follow was. I do use Later for scheduling instagram posts. Would this authorized app be getting me penalized? I thought it was ok to use this scheduling apps now. I’d love your insight because this is the only thing I can think of that. My actions on IG are not bot or spam like.

  • Hi there, so i just started my new business account on Instagram and tried to follow 340 contacts from my phone and it started to load up to about 60 then it stopped and said an error had occurred. i was then unable to follow anyone from then on. this happened just 2 days ago and each day ive tried to see if the block is gone and press follow on an account. unfortunately it still doesn’t allow me to do so. just wondering how do i move past this and what actions should i take to work out when im able to continue to use my account within the limitations regarding followers.

    1. Wait. Take a week off and go travel or read 10 books. Time is your best friend when this happens. The more time you’re willing to give to let the account just sit idle before slowly re-engaging, the better.

    1. Hi Rafael – Instagram is getting very strict and views such actions as possibly automation which is against their Terms of Service. Nowadays, disabled accounts is all too common, and therefore we recommend taking a conservative approach towards any growth activities.

  • I haven’t done any of the things listed to be blocked, but I am. I’ve had Instagram for at least 3 years and the only difference now is that I post a lot less, but I don’t see why that would prevent me from following people. Some of my likes don’t even go through. I tried all of your methods and it still doesn’t work. It’s been about 3 weeks now. I really don’t want to have to start all over again with Instagram.

    1. There’s no exact answer Moses. I recommend just waiting it out and not performing any actions so that it can take its course. Also, don’t use bots or any other software. Always stay legit!

  • Yeah, none of these ideas worked. I have been blocked do about a week. What else can I do. This is really making me so mad!!!!

  • Hey
    I’ve been blocked from following for 9 days now… I haven’t used my account for few days (almost didn’t like, didn’t comment, didn’t upload much) but it didn’t help. I linked it with Facebook, I changed my password… NOTHING.
    I’m an instagram influencer and I keep losing followers and it’s so frustrating.

      1. Jurelma – That is likely because you’ve been using bots or automation in which too many actions were performed. I would recommend not performing any follows for the next few weeks, and then go back and you should be OK. Of course, that doesn’t mean you cannot use Instagram to engage authentically, leave comments on great content, and explore away!!

        Our team member wrote a recent post that may be worth reading about what we’ve discovered.
        https://www.ampfluence.com/instagrams-follow-unfollow-limits-2019/

        Though, please note that you should stay away from bots or automated software. Do the hard work and engage manually. Cheers!

        1. So I read the article- I DO need to continue like and comment and use Instagram? Will it help me to get unlocked? It has been 2 WEEKS now!!

  • My account has been blocked for over 2 weeks now from following! This has never happened before and I’ve used this account since 2011! I’ve reported it to IG every single day several times a day but I’m still blocked! Have tried all the tips above, none works! Its so frustrating! 🙁

      1. Avoid bots and automation. Stick to manual. There’s really no reason to be using bots or automation to grow an IG account. Real authentic engagement and targeting works best. Remember, it’s better to have only 100 followers who actually care about your content, service, or product vs. 100,000 random followers who are mostly also bots / fake accounts.

  • Ive been blocked for unfollowing to fast for 2.5 weeks now. I can’t get an answer from anyone about how long this will last. How much longer???

    1. Avoid bots and automation. Stick to manual. There’s really no reason to be using bots or automation to grow an IG account. Real authentic engagement and targeting works best. Remember, it’s better to have only 100 followers who actually care about your content, service, or product vs. 100,000 random followers who are mostly also bots / fake accounts.

  • Sir my account follow button blocked… Not temporary… If i follow someone then… A msg come this action was blocked. Please try again later. We restrict an certain content and action to protect our community. Tell us if you think we made a mistake.
    Tell us
    OK…
    Please solve my problem sir…

  • Hi, i have been blocked for MONTHS now and i cannot follow anyone. I haven’t followed people in the last 4 weeks and have tried all the methods above. PLEASE HELP ;(

  • Hi, I liked the article. I have unfortunately gotten hooked on Instagram, as you do and ended up with a follow and account block. I don’t use any automation, the only thing I did do was use the followers pro app so I could unfollow those who unfollowed me. I built a very good interactive account with an average interaction rate per post of between 40&70%. Some have been higher. I have now been blocked from following for two weeks, I then read that the follow requests hurt you as they come through and attempted to undo that as they mentioned and now I have a full block. It has given no duration indication etc. Is there anything I can do or should I just delete the app for a month and then try again? Any advice would be appreciated. My gram withdrawals have taken hold!

  • My account got blocked by Insta saying “Your action has been blocked” on this Tuesday.Do you have some tips for me to get my account unblocked without using the app for a certain period and don’t forget to mention the maximum period that it will take to unblock my account

  • I’ve been blocked last time. It takes like a week to be unblocked and away from Instagram. Is there a way to recover my account next time when I’m blocked again?

  • My actions just got blocked and I haven’t been able to follow,like or even comment,I have deleted the Instagram app,do you think I should download it in 1 week time
    I reported it but there hasn’t been a changed so I uninstalled the app

  • I’m only following 26 accounts, and somehow I already got blocked from following. Nowhere near the total or even daily limit. 🤔

  • Hi there,

    I have a very specific question. I have been temporarily blocked from following accounts for around 3 weeks.
    I reported the issue several, I stopped the attempt of following others. However, of course after some time I tried again to see if the block has been lifted, so I tried to follow someone (unsuccessfully as you see). Instagram lets me follow those who have private account and I requested the follow before the block – question: does this (following private accounts) reset my “blocking clock” every single time? Thanks for your answer in advance. Best, Sophie

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